Pets are vulnerable to problems with their teeth and gum disease in much the same way as humans. When food particles, bacteria and saliva build up on the teeth plaque forms. This plaque sticks to the surface of the tooth both above and below the gum line and if not removed will calcify into tartar, the typical yellow-brown material seen starting near the gum line. The bacteria in tartar is a source of infection within the mouth and also the rest of the body too. Liver, kidney and heart can all be affected, especially in older animals.
Typical signs of dental disease:
- Yellow-brown tartar around the gumline
- Change in eating or chewing (especially in cats)
- Pawing at the face or mouth